Bold and welcome vision says RCM Scotland on Scottish Government Breastfeeding report
Today the Scottish Government has published the Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland Report. The report assessed the effectiveness, affordability and feasibility of current support for breastfeeding, marking it overall as 'strong'.
The report also contains eight recommendations and sets out the next steps to drive further improvements. These include ensuring families have equal access to relevant information on feeding their baby, promoting a supportive return to work environment, and strengthening breastfeeding messages across Scotland.
Commenting on the report Mary Ross-Davie, Director for Scotland at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: "This is a bold and welcome vision from the Scottish Government. It will support the progress already made around breastfeeding and point Scotland towards an even better breastfeeding future.
"It recognises that improving Scotland's breastfeeding rates is not a quick, single action fix. It requires investment, planning, determination and the support and cooperation of many different organisations over many years to make it work.
"We have got to develop our systems and our society to support women to breastfeed so that breastfeeding for at least the first six months of a baby's life is the norm. Most women want to breastfeed and we have to be doing all we can to help them do it.
"The more women that breastfeed and breastfeed for longer the healthier our population will be now and decades into the future. Breastfeeding can prevent illnesses in babies and children and it makes healthier adults.
"Midwives and maternity support workers play a crucial role in this. We have to ensure they have the time and resources to give women the best possible support before and in those critical first hours, days and weeks after the birth.
"Ultimately it is a woman's choice about how she chooses to feed her baby and everyone must respect that decision. But, we have got to make sure that choosing breastfeeding is a realistic and attainable option for women. This report will hopefully take us a long way towards that."
Becoming Breastfeeeding Friendly Scotland Report and Recommendations. This report provides Scotland's results and the key recommendations for the continued protection, promotion and support for breastfeeding in Scotland.
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The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.